The East End is heading back to the future to harvest deer. Figures compiled by the State Department of Environmental Conservation show that of the 1,451 deer harvested in Suffolk County during the regular hunting season that began last October and ended at the end of January, over two-thirds were killed by arrows. The overall harvest in East Hampton Town was the highest on record. Only 143 deer were taken during the regular January shotgun season.
Deer killed by hunters (some who were guns for hire) using special deer-management permits and deer-management assistance permits, issued for the purpose of culling deer from specific areas, totaled 1,451 in Suffolk County.
Because of bow hunting’s growing popularity and because it has proved to be an efficient means of culling herds of white-tailed deer, the D.E.C. increased the duration of the bow hunting season from two months to three in 2001. Statistics show that bow hunting is also far safer for both hunters and the public at large.
The last bow hunting season began on Oct. 1 in the county and ended on Dec. 31, one day before the annual shotgun season began. The gunning season runs through the end of January, weekends excluded.
Statewide, 242,957 deer were harvested, an increase over the 2010-11 season. In all, 118,993 bucks and 123,964 anterless deer, females and fawns of both sexes, were taken. In Suffolk, those hunting under the state’s regular big-game license harvested 1,147 deer, 1,004 by bow hunters, 143 by gunners.
In East Hampton Town, 525 deer were harvested, 447 in Southampton Town, the vast majority by bow hunters. Andy Gates of East Hampton’s Department of Land Acquisition and Management said the harvest was the highest on record.